Iceland’s capital Reykjavik has established itself as a premier dining destinations, offering everything from contemporary Icelandic cuisine and French brasserie fare to quirky coffeehouses and tasty hot dog stand grub. Here’s a list of 10 of the best eating spots to try.
Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur, which translates to English as ‘the best hot dog in town’, has been serving hungry Reykjavik natives since 1937. It is the perfect spot for diners looking for an affordable, quick and tasty bite to eat as they explore the city. While perhaps a dish more associated with Germany or the USA, Icelanders actually love their hot dogs and Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur – dubbed by the Guardian as the best in Europe – is the place to sample the Icelandic incarnation of the hot dog. Here, they are made with combination of pork, beef and lamb.
Opened in summer 2011 by two of Iceland’s most talented chefs, Hrefna Rósa Sætren and Guđlaugur P. Frímannsson, Grillmarkađurinn resides in the beautifully reconstructed art nouveau Nýja Bíó, which was destroyed by fire in 1998. The restaurant’s smart, contemporary dining room is inspired by Iceland’s natural elements of rock, water and wood. Meanwhile, its lower-floor lounge area offers a relaxed ambience to enjoy a drink. Using locally sourced, seasonal Icelandic ingredients, Grillmarkađurinn serves appetizers like the adventurous whale, puffin and lobster mini burgers.
Located in the cosy basement level of the historic Zimsen Building, which dates back to 1884 and is situated in the shadow of a quaint bridge is Fiskfélagiđ. This restaurant’s varied menu showcases Iceland’s world-class seafood. Offering traditional Icelandic dishes and fish recipes from across the globe, guests can opt for the Fiji-inspired starter of coconut fish soup with langoustine. Or they can choose grilled monkfish, coconut jelly and Icelandic seaweed, or the Brazilian main of salted cod and scallops with sweet potatoes, olive marmalade, baked garlic paste and olive crisps. Finish with an Icelandic dessert of skyr mousse with lemon marshmallows, licorice sauce, sorbet and licorice sponge cake.
A firm fixture on Reykjavik’s dining scene since it first opened its doors in 1965, the Gallery Restaurant is situated within the arty boutique Hotel Holt. Home to the hotel’s most impressive pieces from its art collection, it includes works by Icelandic artists such as Jón Stefánsson and Ásmundur Sveinsson. Offering an impeccable fine-dining experience, the restaurant kitchen is overseen by owner and executive chef Friðgeir Ingi Eiríksson. Impressively, he represented Iceland in the 2007 international culinary competition Bocuse d’Or. For the restaurant creates innovative Icelandic dishes such as the horse carpaccio with salt-crusted celery and duck liver mousse.
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